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Sun, 11.15.2015

Jamar Clark Is Killed by Police in Minneapolis

*On this date in 2015, Jamar Clark was killed by the police.  He was a 24-year-old Black man. Clark was shot and killed by two white-American Minneapolis police officers, Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze.  

Clark was attending the birthday party of Nekelia Sharp, who was hosting the event at her apartment on the 1600 block of Plymouth Avenue North in Minneapolis. Sharp and her husband engaged in a dispute, and Clark's girlfriend grabbed Sharp, after which Sharp and Clark's girlfriend fought. Clark stepped in to pull his girlfriend away and, according to Sharp, Clark's girlfriend hit him. The pair left, and soon, someone called for help, and paramedics were called. Sharp let them into her apartment, and they escorted Clark's girlfriend to the ambulance, which Clark approached after she entered. 

An onlooker reported that the paramedics and police who had arrived at the scene asked Clark to step away from the ambulance. The police then stepped from their car, arrested Clark on the ground, and the EMS supervisor placed a knee on Clark's chest, after which point he was shot.  County Attorney accounts say that Clark got into a confrontation with paramedics, and then when police officers responded at 12:45 a.m., a "struggle" ensued; Clark obtained the officer's gun, leading to the shooting by the other officer. The night after the shooting, Clark died at the Hennepin County Medical Center after being taken off life support.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that Clark resisted and was not handcuffed. In a statement on November 16, police chief Janeé Harteau said that the Minneapolis Police Department's preliminary information was that Clark was not restrained with handcuffs when shot.  

Other accounts have disputed the police's version of events. Nekelia Sharp said that the shooting occurred while Clark was handcuffed and not resisting. Teto Wilson, who visited a nearby club, said he saw Clark "perfectly still, laying on the ground" when he was shot. Keisha Steele, who lived near the shooting area, saw Clark's hands behind his back. Everett Spicer arrived at the scene after the shooting and said he saw a motionless Clark handcuffed on the ground. Spicer said police removed the handcuffs from Clark as emergency medical services arrived to tend to him.  

In response to the shooting, Black Lives Matter organized protests outside the Fourth Precinct police station that lasted for 18 days and other protests and demonstrations in and around Minneapolis. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that cases concerning officer-involved shootings would no longer be put before grand juries. On March 30, 2016, Freeman announced that no charges would be filed against Ringgenberg and Schwarze.  


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